Monthly Archives: February 2011

Prophecy the Easy Way

From a Google ad I got given this afternoon:

Numerology – Find the secrets of your name and unlock what’s in store for you in 2010.

Wow, someone who can help me understand what 2010 holds for my life. What price can you put on that?

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Meme 03: Nobody Asked Me, But

So nobody tags me in their memes, which is fine. Really. Not lonely at all.

James McGrath and Clayboy both have responses to Rod of Alexandria‘s challenge:

Please try to name ONE (I know, there are so many to choose from) CCM praise song that you find unbearable and at least 2-3 reasons why, pointing to specific lyrics if you must.

My first instinct has been taken, unfortunately. But here’s my second choice:

A better smorgasbord of odd socks you will not find. Just when you think he has wound himself into a gordion knot of a metaphoric layer cake he’ll put a bell and whistle on top just to parry your concern and hit it out of the ballpark.

Best verse:

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Take us to the mountain
Lift us in the shadow of your hand We’re being lifted in the shadow? How does that work?
Is this your mighty angel Is what your mighty angel? The shadow?
Who stands astride the ocean and the land struck me as a reference to the Colossus of Rhodes — probably just Rev 10 though
For in his hand your mercy curve ball on the pronouns! – this appears to be the angel’s hand now!
Showers on a dry and Barren place is the shower still occurring in the hand? What happened to the angel’s little book from Rev 10?
Take us to the mountain
In the city of our God wait, the mountain is in the city?

Totally bonkers. Lots of fun, but bonkers.

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Paul's Resurrection — 1 Corinthians 15

In a previous post we looked at the resurrection, and I concluded that it was a set of visions that the disciples experienced, rather than witness to a physical resurrection, as is commonly misunderstood. In that post we looked primarily at gospel witnesses.

Paul also seems to share this view, though his opinion is a little more distributed. To make the argument, we can look in 1 Corinthians, in two passages. First 1 Cor 15:20:

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first of those who have died.

– tr mine.

This seems to suggest that Paul thinks that Christ’s resurrection is not different or special in kind to the resurrection of everyone else who will follow. Christ’s is the first resurrection, not a different phenomenon. So how does Paul think about the resurrection we will all experience? 1 Cor 15:35ff:

But some will say “How are the dead raised; they come with what sort of body?” … (v.44) … what is raised is a spiritual body.

– tr mine

And then in v. 45

“the last Adam [i.e. Jesus] became a life-giving spirit.”

– tr mine

And so on. The whole argument is based around the idea that the resurrected body is not a physical body. It is not made of ‘earth stuff’ (v. 48 χοϊκός “choikos”), but of stuff from heaven (ἐπουράνιος “epouranios”).

So I think when Paul thought about resurrection he didn’t think about physical bodies. Whatever happened to Jesus’s body, for Paul, was probably irrelevant (maybe that is a reason he doesn’t mention the empty tomb stories – maybe they just weren’t circulating at that time). Because that body wasn’t the thing being raised. It was the spiritual, heavenly body, the kind that can show up in visions.

Still, the empty tomb seems to be a major focus of apologetics. Is it possible to apologetically combine the need for an empty tomb with the consistent evidence that the resurrection (as experienced or understood by those affected) was not a physical resurrection?

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